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Leonardo Momento Zero Red-Marbled Resin (Expanding Long Term Review)



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As I happened to be in The Hague today to visit a museum, I also dropped in at Akkerman to look at some stuff that my favourite local store doesn't carry. Specifically, I wanted to try a Sailor 1911L with NMF nib, based on this discussion as well as a Pilot Capless. In the same display were a number of pens from a brand I know nothing about: Leonardo. The design was love at first sight, but charging 148 euros for a steel-nibbed pen, well, it had better be very good. I passed on the Sailor (doesn't really suit me, too expensive for what it is) and the Capless (great design, very ergonomic, but somehow I just can't deal with Pilot nibs). So I tried this Leonardo with steel F nib.

 

The most important thing: nib and writing

Surprise #1: this is an extremely well-cut and well-polished nib. Line width is "a perfect F", it has exquisitely subtle pencil-like feedback, it's wet even when writing fast or doing signatures. The nib just feels perfect for me.

 

Surprise #2: the nib is incredibly soft and bouncy. Think Pineider LGB-bouncy. It's as bouncy as my '57 MB 342 semi-flex (and that is one heck of a bouncy pen). It's bouncier than my Visconti HS Lava Steel Midi F. Unlike my personal experiences with the Pineider LGB, this Leonardo never railroaded, the feed never had any issue keeping up.

 

While test-driving this pen in the store, I compared it to my other bouncy pens, the Visconti HS and my vintage MB 342, and to my surprise the Leonardo effortlessly withstood this comparison. Add to that the beauty of this pen, and it was a no-brainer.

 

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Materials and construction

My pen is not the LE celluloid. My pen is basic resin. If it looks this good, then who cares?

 

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The pen feels well-constructed. Nothing feels flimsy or under-designed. There's a blind cap that you can take off to access the stock converter knob. Of course you can also unscrew the whole barrel. The converter strikes me as well-designed, first impression is of better quality than the usual run-of-the-mill converters.

 

Ergonomy

This is highly personal, but the pen fits me well. The section is resin in the same marble colouring as the rest of the pen, which I like better than a black section. And thankfully the section isn't made of metal, as I can't seem to hold a metal-sectioned pen without slipping. The pen's size is ideal for me. It can be used unposted, which I prefer.

 

Price/performance

Ask me again in a week, but looking good, really good.

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  • TheDutchGuy

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Looks really really nice!

 

Congrats on the buy.

 

And :thumbup: for another Italian : :D

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Update #1.

 

Cleaned and flushed the pen and converter. Nice surprise: the converter is threaded and therefore securely locked in the section. Nice touch from Leonardo, certainly at this price range!

 

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Nib and writing

If possible I prefer to have an ink in a pen that matches its colour, so I inked it up J. Herbin Rouge Grenat as its first-ever ink. Because there's also black in the pen's colour scheme, at a later stage I might try inks like Sailor Kiwa-Guro or Diamine 1864 Blue-Black.

 

The nib is incredible. I'm smitten. Blown away. It's one of the smoothest nibs I've ever encountered, yet it's tactile and controllable. It's really, really soft and bouncy and I cannot believe that this is a steel nib. If someone had blindfolded me, I'd have sworn this to be an exquisitely bouncy 18k or 23k gold nib. The feed has ample capacity and can keep up with whatever you choose to do.

 

Size and ergonomics

 

While not a giant like the full-size Visconto Homo Sapiens or a Sailor KoP, the Leonardo is by no means a small pen. More specifically, it's got girth. At it's widest point, it's about 40% wider than a Sheaffer Targa and 20% wider than my Midi-version of the Homo Sapiens (apologies for poor iPad-photos):

 

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^---Note the size of the feed as compared to the Midi's feed!

 

Comparison with some other pens:

 

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^---From right to left: Sailor 1911 Standard > '48 Onoto 5601 > '48 De La Rue transition model > Cross Peerless 125 > Visconti Homo Sapiens Midi > Visconti van Gogh > Leonardo Momento Zero > '60s Montblanc 146 > '59 Sheaffer PFM-III > '85 Sheaffer Targa > '85 Sheaffer Targa Slim.

 

The Leonardo's feel in the hand is comparable to the Cross Peerless 125: it's about as long, about as wide, but weighs less than half. Another close match is the MB 146 which is also of the same weight, but widens less in the middle than the Leonardo does. So what we have here is a light, standard-length pen of above-average width.

 

Price/performance

I'm floored by the quality this pen offers. If you'd ask me now which of my pens would make the Leonardo bite the dust in terms of how well it writes, I'd have to think long and hard about it. Perhaps the PFM-III. But ask me again in a week.

Edited by TheDutchGuy
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The Hawaii version looks lovely, and I'd happily pay €150 for it, but alas I cannot stomach EMS shipping charges from Italy that is another 30% of the pen's price. :(

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Thank you for this. I've been looking at this pen and your description of the nib has sold me. Soft and bouncy is right up my alley. Good company for the Bock Ti nibs. Hopefully the stub has the same characteristics.

Edited by Karmachanic

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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On a few Italian (online) stores I see it at 178E.

Not convenient, even if I could get a hold of one.

 

I am getting back to the States in just 4 days.

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Absolutely gorgeous! I love my Delta fps, and have been eyeing by the Leonardo and Pineider pens. It looks like I may have to get one of each! :lol:

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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On a few Italian (online) stores I see it at 178E.

Not convenient, even if I could get a hold of one.

 

I am getting back to the States in just 4 days.

Momento Hawaii is €178. Fontoplumo could get it to you in a day if you asked nicely. If you had it shipped to the US you would not pay VAT so €122.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Momento Hawaii is €178. Fontoplumo could get it to you in a day if you asked nicely. If you had it shipped to the US you would not pay VAT so €122.

€147.11, actually, exclusive of VAT. I just ordered one with free international shipping. Thank you so much for pointing me to Fontoplumo!

 

€122 is the VAT-exclusive price for the other resin models.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Thank you for this. I've been looking at this pen and your description of the nib has sold me. Soft and bouncy is right up my alley. Good company for the Bock Ti nibs. Hopefully the stub has the same characteristics.

 

 

I intend to get stub as well, might take a few weeks. If my F is this bouncy, then the stub might even bouncier due to the larger contact area. Whether or not this leads to railroading or other nastiness remains to be seen. At this price, I'll take the gamble.

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Great review to be found HERE. Includes photos from the Leonardo workshop, showing the old-school methods and small-scale approach. Lovely stuff.

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Hopefully the stub has the same characteristics.

The stub arrived today, but I ordered the Furore instead of the Momento Zero, so I added my findings to the existing Furore discussion. Long story short, the stub is slightly less bouncy than my F. I think that's probably a good thing, because obviously a stub puts more ink on paper and an overly bouncy stub nib moving away from the feed can lead to railroading and such. Not so with this stub, it writes really really well. It just doesn't feel as intensely "cushiony" as the F.

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Perfect! You covered both point's that were on my mind with regards to the stub - line width √ And yes -shading √ :D

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Would this FP be about the same size as an MB 146? I'm curious but I have small hands.

Tempus edax rerum

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Would this FP be about the same size as an MB 146? I'm curious but I have small hands.

Scroll up a little and see for yourself. It's lying next to a 146.

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Look what this thing does with Sailor Jentle Blue ink... Sorry for bad pics (taken on a moving train).

 

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It's really not a big pen and because it's also so light, it makes a perfect work horse for long writing sessions. Initially I was very skeptical of the pen since from the photos it reminds me of the Delta Journal. While its true they share a lot of similar design traits, it's a lot more different.

 

The one thing I find unusual about this pen is that it reminds me so much of my OMAS's than my Deltas. It's primarily because of the design of the clip and also the design of the feed. They are identical to my OMASes. I wonder why this is so since the people involved in the pen were from Delta?

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  • 1 month later...
TheDutchGuy
Two month update. I can be brief about this: it's the best pen I've ever had the pleasure of using. That's quite a statement, so a bit of clarification might be welcome. This pen offers me exactly the kind of writing sensation that I wish for. If I picture in my head what my dream pen should feel like, this is it. On top of that feel, it enhances my handwriting. Materials, fit, finish etc are all top-notch. Being a below-200 euro/dollar pen, of course it doesn't offer exquisite materials like celluloid, ebonite, a zillion coats of urushi or basaltic rock from Mt Etna. It's resin. But I defy anyone to pick this pen up and state that it feels cheap. It doesn't. It feels high-end. It's just awesome. It's fhe best pen for me. For you, though, it might be just another pen. But do give it a try.
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I ordered two of them - the Positano and the Red Marbled - both in stub nibs. They should be here next week. :D

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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TheDutchGuy

I ordered two of them - the Positano and the Red Marbled - both in stub nibs. They should be here next week. :D

I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I'm enjoying mine! The Leonardo stubs are not my favourites, though. The quality of my two F nibs really sets the brand apart - I can't think of any other steel nib that comes close. But the stub struck me as just another quite decent steel stub.

 

One improvemet area: the cap doesn't seal too good, so over time ink might dry on the nib.

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